Are video games good for the brain?

By on December 24, 2018

Video games are reputed to be violent and debilitating. However, recent studies show that they improve different cognitive abilities depending on the type of game. The health risks are very limited and can easily be avoided. Visit this site for landwirtschafts simulator 2017 kostenlos downloaden.

History of video game

Since the release of Pong in 1972, video games have steadily improved and diversified. Some are part of our cultural heritage, like Space Invaders, Pac-Man or Tetris. With today’s video games, it is possible to play alternately an athlete, a psychoanalyst, a mother, a fighter pilot, a surgeon, a soldier … Their sets can immerse us in contemporary places. Historical or mythical, in a metaphorical representation of the brain or in dreamy delirious universes. They offer us to perfect our English, to measure the age of our brain, to learn to cook, to dance or to play the guitar … They represent a playful practice of a great richness which develops more and more near a growing clientele. Click here for landwirtschafts simulator 2017 kostenlos downloaden.

Stimulants for the brain

Since the recent discoveries on brain plasticity, we know that the environment can modify the synaptic connections of the brain. Repeated exposure of the body to a given visual environment (a video game, for example) can, therefore, affect the cognitive processes that specifically treat this environment in the more or less long term. On the contrary, they find that the practice of action video games modifies a whole set of visual attentional abilities. The authors compared the performance of regular “players” versus “non-players” in different tasks.

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The results show that the players’ visual attention is slower than that of the non-players when they have to search for a target, despite the constantly increasing difficulty of the task. Players also manage to capture more items at a glance. Moreover, the spatial distribution of their visual attentional resources is more efficient, in central vision as peripheral: they better spot a target regardless of their distance from the point they initially set. Finally, they are able to refocus their attention more quickly on finding a new target after a first one has been detected. There is every reason to believe that the regular practice of action video games generally improves selective visual attention.

What about the difference between men and women?

But what about the difference between men and women? Indeed, the popular belief is that women have less good spatial skills than men (it seems they cannot read a roadmap …). How do they react to the practice of video games that require these skills?  A recent study shows that between the ages of 10 and 20, boys who play action games more readily than girls have better performance at mental rotation tasks. However, it is difficult to know whether the “spatial handicap” observed in girls is the cause or the consequence of a less regular practice than boys in action games. Children aged 8 to 14, boys and girls, now prefer to play action games. It is, therefore, necessary to test the spatial competences of this more homogeneous population in their tastes and video-game practices. In addition, comparing the spatial cognition performance of non-player men and women after training in action games could also provide some answers.

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